tv The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino FOX News October 16, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
well, he's a good man. i have not spoken to him. i will speak to him and i will make that determination. if i think it's 1% negative to doing what we want to do, i will make a change, yes. >> senator mcconnell -- >> we are going to be doing that next week. by the way, you know that's a big step. by the way, people have no understanding of what you just said. that is a very, very big statement. it's a very important step. and to get to that step, a lot of work has to be done. it's time consuming work. we will be doing it next week. okay? [ talking at the same time ] >> did you have a chance during your lunch today to discuss the comments steve bannon made this weekend?
what do you make of the statements? >> look, the goal here is to win elections in november. back in 2010 and 2012, we nominated several candidates, christine o'donnell, sharon angle, todd egen, richard murdoch. they're not in the senate. and the reason for that was that they were not able to appeal to a broader electorate in the general election. my goal, as the leader of the republican party and the senate, is to keep us in the majority. the way you do that is not complicated. you have to nominate people who can actually win, because winners make policy and losers go home. we changed the business model in 2014. we nominated people who could win everywhere. we took the majority in the senate. we had one skirmish in 2016. our operating approach will be to support our incumbents and,
in open seats, to seek to help nominate people who can actually win in november. that's my approach. that's the way you keep a governing majority. [ talking at the same time ] >> mr. president, sir, sir. earlier today you criticized drug companies and insurance companies saying drug companies's prices are too high. >> exactly right. >> what would you like to see? >> the insurance companies have made a fortune with obamacare, an absolute fortune, as you know what i did with the cuts at the end, which were all going -- you're talking about hundreds of millions a month going right into the pockets of the insurance companies. i'm very happy with what i did. and because of that, people are talking now. democrats are talking to republicans for a short term taking care of what we will call healthcare. so that people can have good
healthcare without big spikes. you would have had massive spikes. you already have. every year the massive spikes to obamacare have been ridiculous. as far as, and i didn't speak to mitch about this today, but a priority of mine -- and you know this is coming up -- will be the cost of prescription drugs. we're going to get the costs way down, way down. those drug companies -- so you have the insurance companies. in the other case with regard to both you have to drug companies. they contribute massive amounts of money to political people. i don't know, mitch. maybe even to you. but i have to tell you they contribute massive amounts of money. me, i'm not interested in their money. i don't need their money. i will tell you, you have prescription drugs. you go to england, you go to various places, canada. you go to many, many countries and the same exact pill from the same company, the same box, same everything is a tiny fraction of what it costs in the united states. we are going to get drug prices,
prescription drug prices way down. because the world has taken advantage of it. the world has taken advantage of us when that happens. that will be very important. >> mr. president, sir! >> there are 6 million people that get subsidies to help pay for obamacare. about 70%. now you've cut off these payments. are you going to ensure those people will still get help from the federal government? >> that's what we're looking to do, joe. we want to get it down so people can have affordable health care. look at some states 116% up. in alaska, over 200% up. in other states 50%, 70% up. those are some of the states that are doing better. obamacare is a wreck. it's a mess. it's destroying lives. we want to get it in those states, the states that i did so well in. but all in states that i didn't win. i want to get healthcare that's much more affordable and much better healthcare. that's what we're doing.
>> let me ask you about tax reform. you had said the other day that there were adjustments being made. larry cohn said today there would be some things that are negotiable. what exactly in your eyes is negotiable? and to the leader, you said the top priority is tax reduction. you did not say tax reform in 2017. mr. mcconnell said specific tax reform in 2017. >> we are doing minor adjustments. we want to make sure that the middle class is the biggest beneficiary of the tax cuts and tax reform. that's i'm sure what mitch meant, all. people get it confused. we are doing massive tax cuts. we are also doing simplification and reform. simplification where if we can do it on one page. some cases it may be two pages. we're doing major simplification. we're bringing categories down. if you include zero because there are zero. we're bringing it from 8 to 4. that's a big, big simplification
just that alone. but we are doing the massive cuts. i will say this. wherever i have been, this has been so popular with the people. now we have to get a couple of additional people to raise their hands. mitch? >> yeah. i agree with the president. it's about both reduction and reform. it's been 30 years since this kind of effort was taken successfully. we're going to succeed this time. the bill, the details will be written by the ways and means and finance committees after we approve the budget. obviously the budget opens the path to tax reform. but it's about both. about both reform and reduction. >> why haven't we heard anything about the -- [ inaudible ].
>> i have written them personal letters. they were sent or are going out over the weekend. i will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families. 'cause i have done that traditionally. i felt very, very badly about that. i all feel badly. it's the toughest -- the toughest calls that i have to make are the calls where this happens. soldiers are killed. it's a very difficult thing. it gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day, it's a very tough day. for me, that's by far the toughest. the traditional way, if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. they have made the ultimate sacrifice. so generally i would say that i like to call. i'm going to be calling them. i want a little time to pass. i'm going to be calling them. i have, since i have been
president, i have. but in addition, i actually wrote letters, individually, to the soldiers we're talking about and they will be going out either today or tomorrow. >> thank you, mr. president. general kelly said you believe cuba could stop the attacks against americans. do you believe that? >> i do. i do believe cuba's responsible. i do believe that. it's a very unusual attack, as you know, but i do believe cuba is responsible, yes. >> mr. president. roy moore down in alabama said he believes homosexuality should be illegal and muslims should be barred from serving in the u.s. congress. what makes you comfortable with someone with those beliefs serving in the u.s. senate? >> i'm going to be meeting with roy sometime next week and we're gonna talk to him about a lot of different things. but i will be meeting with him.
he ran a very strong race. the people of alabama, who i like very much, and they like me very much, but they like roy. we'll be talking to him. i can report to you then. >> mr. president, sir! >> go ahead. >> mr. president, question for you and mr. mcconnell. following up on the budget. one of the issues is whether the senate judiciary committee will -- [ inautomobiled ] [ inaudible ] >> i can give you my position. the blue slip for those who are not familiar with it, is a custom determined by the chairman of the judiciary committee. and senator grassley can give you his view of how he views that. i'll give you my view. my view is that, a blue slip on
a circuit judge is simply a notification of how you're going to vote. to conclude otherwise would have left us in the following position at the beginning of this senate. 48 democratic senators would have been able to black ball 62% of the circuit judge nominees. that's simply not atenable place to land in a senate that now deals with judges with a simple majority. so my own personal view is that a blue slip on a circuit judge should simply be a notification of how you intend to vote. >> we can talk blue slips, but my attitude is i want really capable people going to the courts. peter? >> in 2012 you tweeted that obama's complaints about agenda are bs in your own words. full control in two years. you wrote he can never take
responsibility. but today you said about some of the challenges in congress and washington. i'm not going to blame myself. they're not getting the job done. what is the difference then than now? >> let me explain what's different. we have nominations pending right now and we have 182. if you look at this, the number he had approved was 65% and 70%. we have 39%. they're holding up every single nomination. schumer and the group are holding up every single nomination. they are obstructing. they're doing -- i'm telling you. they're not good politicians. but they're very good at obstruction. they will holding up every single nomination. it's not right. peter, it's not. they'll take them right to the last minute. what they're doing is unfair. you look at even bush, obama, clinton and bush original. you have 389 versus 182.
these are approvals. you look at clinton. 357 versus 182. you look at president obama, 364 versus 182. these are nominations approved. and what they're doing to us. we have unbelievable people in there waiting to be approved. they've been waiting for a long period of time. i do believe mitch is gonna start pushing them very hard. he also wants to get the judicial nominations through. he wants to get them through fast, too. [ talking at the same time ] >> could i just follow on that. you seem to have a spirit of cooperation with the senate minority leader and house minority leader when it came to the budget, finding a fix for daca. but every proposal you have quoted since then they have very critically rejected. so where is this relationship? >> well, i hope to have a
relationship. if we don't, we don't. we have races coming up, as you know, a year from now. i think we're gonna probably do very well. i can say this. if we get taxes approved, we're going to do unbelievably well. many of the senators are running in senates that i won by massive amounts. over 20%, sometimes 30%. i guess in one or two cases by over 40% over the democrats. >> do you think you can work with them? >> we're gonna let you know that. i would like to give you that answer in about seven years from now. is that okay? meaning one plus seven. john, i hope to be able to. because i like the concept of bipartisan. but right now they are doing nothing but obstructing. and really, if you think about it, they are against major tax cuts that's gonna make our country stronger and more competitive? that's a hard thing to win an election on. i believe that some democrats will be voting for us when it comes to the tax cuts.
>> mr. president, sir! >> north korea. >> what about the economic development that you mentioned? >> i will be proposing an economic development bill in the not too distant future. i want to get tack cuts done first. maybe even health care. somewhere in between or shortly there after i am going to be developing an economic development bill that will put us so far ahead of other countries you will not even believe it. that will be very important. >> sir, mr. president! thank you, mr. president. last week your administration made two major announcements on rolling back the iran deal and getting rid of the cautionary reductions as part of obamacare. and a lot of criticism has been levelled at your administration saying that really all you're doing is -- >> lot of praise. >> fair enough, sir. rolling back a lot of what you're doing is simply rolling back everything your predecessor accomplished. is there a single policy of your predecessor that you specifically do not want to touch, sir?
>> well, we're very opposite in terms of inincentives for jobs. if you look at what happened, we just did a new high today in the stock market. we've picked up mitch as of this moment $5.2 trillion in market value. we have the lowest unemployment rate in, i believe, it's almost 17 years. we're doing well. we are going to be doing immigration work that's going to be outstanding. we're going to have people coming into our country based hopefully on a merit system, not just coming in randomly. they're going to be coming in based on a merit system where they can help us. i have companies moving into this country. you saw what happened with the automobile industry last week. we have companies pouring back into this country for the first time in anybody's memory. we are actually going to be fairly soon to the point where we're going to need workers. our country is going to do so
well. but the tax cuts will be a major, major part of it. >> is there a policy you want to keep in place? >> not too many. i must say. opposite side of the spectrum. peter, go ahead, peter. >> earlier you said president obama never called a family of a fallen soldier? >> no, i don't know if he did. i was told that he didn't often. lot of presidents don't. excuse me, peter. i do a combination of both. it's a very difficult thing to do. but i do a combination of both. president obama, i think, probably did sometimes. maybe sometimes he didn't. i don't know. that's what i was told. all i can do is ask my generals. other presidents did not call. they'd write letters. some presidents didn't do anything. but i like the combination. when i can, the combination of a
cal call. >> one at a time. >> thank you. if it would help special counsel robert mueller get to the end of the russia investigation? >> i'd see it end. the whole russia thing was an excuse for the democrats losing the election. it turns out to be just one excuse. today hillary blamed nigel firaj. that came out of nowhere. it was just an excuse for the democrats losing an election. frankly they had a big advantage in the electoral college. they were unable to do it. so there has been absolutely no collusion. it's been stated that they have no collusion. they ought to get to the end of it 'cause i think the american public is sick of it. go ahead. >> mr. president, do you believe that your comments in any way affect people's ability to receive a fair trial?
can you respond to -- >> i can't comment. he's, as you know, i guess he's doing something today, as we know. they're setting up sentencing. i'm not going to comment on it. i think people have heard my comments in the past. go ahead. >> you said, the deadline -- [ inaudible ]. >> they should be able to do something. but we need very strong border security. we do want the wall. go ahead. >> i spoke to governor brown. we had a great conversation. we have fema there. as you know, james lee witt gave us an a plus. i think, if he didn't include the fires, he would include the fires also. we have fema there. we have first responders there. it's a tragic situation. we're working very closely with the representatives from
california and we're doing a good job. >> mr. president, mr. president. >> go ahead. yes. go ahead. [ inaudible ] >> all i can say is it's totally fake news. it's fake. it's made up stuff. it's disgraceful what happens. but that happens in the world of politic. john? >> on the wall. >> our country needs a wall. mexico, you see what's happening there. you see what just happened yesterday with one of their big political leaders. mexico is not doing particularly well when it comes to the kind of thing we have great interest in. drugs are pouring across our border.
we're stopping it. but we need a wall to really stop it. we need a wall in this country. you know it. i know it. everybody knows it. we have to have a wall. so that's going to be part of it. [ inaudible ] >> that's according to the clinton administration's head of fema it's been outstanding. puerto rico is very tough because of the fact that it's an island. it's also tough because, as you know, it was in very poor shape before the hurricanes ever hit. their electrical grid was destroyed before the hurricanes got there. it was in very bad shape. was not working. was in bankruptcy. owed $9 billion. then on top of that the hurricane came. now, you're going to have to build a whole new electrical plant system. we're not talking about generators. puerto rico now has more generators, i believe, than any place in the world. there are generators all over the place.
the fact that, their electrical system was in horrible shape before and even worse shape after. so we are working right now, as you know, relief funds were just approved, in the process of becoming approved. that includes texas, that includes florida. it also includes puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands, etc. but, but, it was in really bad shape before. we have done -- i will say this. >> people don't have drinking watered. >> we've delivered tremendous amounts of water. what you have to do, you to have distribution of the water, but by the people on the island. we have massive amounts of water. we have massive amounts of food. but they have to distribute it. they have to do it. they have to distribute the food to the people on the island. what we've done, we now have military distributing food, something that really they shouldn't have to be doing. if you look at the governor, who's a good man. but you look at the governor of
por uerto rico, he has said we' done an outstanding job. puerto rico is a tough one. [ inaudible ] >> i'll let pitch -- do you want to talk about that? >> was the question about the 20 week -- yeah. well, it's supported by virtually all of my members. we expect to have a vote on it at some point. [ talking at the same time ] >> how do you view what you're trying to accomplish? >> i'll be going to south korea torque china, to japan, vietnam for the summit. we have a big economic summit there. i may be going to the
philippines, also. we've been invited to the philippines. i may be going to the philippines. i look for twaord all of them. we haven't set the details as of this moment. we'll take a look at that. i didn't hear in terms of provoking. we will certainly take a look at that. >> mr. president. >> thank you sir. follow-up on an earlier question to sarah. you discussed the investigation. are you considering firing robert mueller? >> no. not at all. >> kurdish forces and iraqi forces were flashing in northern iraq. are you concerned about larger problem in the region while u.s. forces are still on the ground? >> we don't like the fact that they're clashing. we're not taking sides. but we don't like the fact that they're clashing. let me tell you, we've had for many years very good relationship with the kurds, as you know. we've also been on the side of iraq even though we never should have been in there in the first
place. but we're not taking sides in that battle. john? >> interview earlier today hillary clinton said she did not believe players taking a knee in the nfl was about disrespecting the flag. you fired back in a tweet to her. >> i hope hillary runs. hillary, please run again. >> she's at odds with you over whether or not that's disrespecting the flag. is she right or wrong? >> i think she's wrong. look, there's plenty of time to do niece and there's plenty of time to do lots of other things. but when you take a knee -- that's why she lost the election. i mean, honestly. it's that thinking. that is the reason she lost the election. when you go down and take a knee or any other way, you're sitting essentially for our great national anthem, you're disrespecting our flag and you're disrespecting our country. and the nfl should have
suspended some of these players for one game. not fire them. suspended them for one game. then if they did it again, could have been two games then three games then for the season. you wouldn't have people disrespecting our country right now. and if hillary clinton actually made the statement that in a form sitting down during the plague of our great national anthem is not disrespectful, then i fully understand why she didn't win. i mean, look, there are a lot of reasons she didn't win, including the fact that chef not good at what she did. but i will tell you that is something that i had just heard about. i think that her statement, in itself, is very disrespectful to our country. [ inaudible ] >> thank you very much. >> as it relates to the nfl that the what the players are saying.
the police involved shooting issue. what will you do about that? >> it is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during our national anthem. it is very disrespectful. just hear it. it is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during the national anthem, number one. number two, the people of our country are very angry at the nfl. all you have to do is look at their ratings and stadiums. you see empty seats where you never saw them before. lot of people are very angry at it. it is highly disrespectful. they shouldn't do it. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> dana: that was president trump and senator mitch mcconnell in the rose garden in a fabulous press conference. an amazing example of democracy in action when the leader of the free world takes that many questions from the press corps that chris stirewalt, who is joining me. we are going to get to that. i have got to ask you about all of this. first of all, your initial
reaction about why this was initially called. because president trump and mitch mcconnell have somewhat been at odds, okay, for the last six weeks. apparently they talk on the phone but none of us know that. this is a chance for the president to say, we get along very well and we have a relationship. let's listen to this and have you react. >> just want to say that we just spent quite a bit of time inside with the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, who has been a friend of mine for a long time. long before my world in politics. early into his world of politics, i think. we've been friends for a long time. we are probably now, despite what we read, are closer than ever before. >> dana: what do you think? >> i was sraeuting for the vacation pictures to come out. this is the time mitch and i went on vacation. it was great.
doesn't matter whether they like each other 'cause they probably don't. doesn't matter if they've been friends because i'm sure they haven't been. i'm sure they've met each other when trump gave money to mcconnell or his opponent, who knows, at some point 20 years ago. none of that matters. what matters is, can donald trump forge a peace, a workable truce, between the warring wings of his own party? so his embrace of mcconnell today says to his form eur senior white house adviser, steve bannon, i am going to stick with mcconnell for now. i am going to stay here in this space. and if you want to, as bannon said he wants to do, primary every republican incumbent save ted cruz, that he's going to come after them all and he's going to try to tear it up, that this was trump today saying, steve, i'm here with mitch today. i'm going to need your help tomorrow. and this is trump's giant task as president. he has a party driven by
dissent. can he fuse these two thiwings o a useful majority to get things done. >> dana: senator mcconnell talked about bannon and his influence in the upcoming elections. let's listen to that. >> did you a chance to discuss the comments steve bannon made this weekend? what do you make of those comments? about the republican party? >> look, you know, the goal here is to win elections in november. >> dana: he went on to say he was looking at 2010 and 2012 saying that the republicans had actually nominated people who didn't go on to win and that the goal is to keep the majority or even add to it so you want to have nominees that can win a general election. in this new environment, did 2016 change things so much that looking back to 2010 and 2012 is not useful? >> i think not every state is alabama. and what happened in alabama with roy moore was a result of
some corruption allegations, was the result of some intense local issues, plus moore's high name identification. then it would be a miracle if democrats could pull off a win in alabama. most states don't look like alabama. it was very deliberate, important and instructive that mcconnell mentions todd achen, the disaster senate candidate for republican for 2012. because not only did aiken lead claire mchaskell. not only did she slip the news but it became collateral damage to thoer republican nominees who were forced to answer questions about the thing todd aiken had said. the aiken warning is still there. he said i understand why bannon is angry. i get why they're angry. but he says, for now, i'm going to stick to the side of the electable candidates. >> dana: if we could play this.
there was a 60 minutes report about the opioid crisis. the president said he's going to sign that national emergency next week. let's listen to what he said about the nominee, tom marino, who was the subject of that. he's a tkphopl knee to be the drug czar at the whrous. >> i did see the report. we're going to look into the report. we're going to take it very seriously. we're going to have a major announcement next week on the drug crisis. >> dana: that was maybe not clear. what he said, he saw the report. he's aware of it. he will be looking into this closely. which i think could mean there might be a change there. >> he said if there was even a 1% -- if he found marino's action had even been 1% deleterious to the effect on the opioid crisis that he'd be out. so i tkoub marino having read and seen that, i doubt he can weather this. the legislation made it so much
easier for drug companies to get past the dea requirement. and it shifted the burden there. huge boone from the industry and helped get millions of opioid pills into western pennsylvania and west virginia. >> dana: chris, thanks so much. >> you bet. >> dana: let's go to john roberts in the rose garden. john, i don't know tpeuf seen anything like that ever. >> reporter: that was a pretty extraordinary moment. something we had an inkling on earlier when the president said he was having lunch with mitch mcconnell and he would see us out on the steps. we didn't hear anything after that. i got inside information that something might happen. we were all sitting in the briefing room waiting for sarah to come out. we get the call, go to the doors because the president is going to talk to you in the rose garden. when we came out here, we kind of had an inkling that the president would say something with mitch mcconnell. this follows along the lines of rex tillerson coming out saying his relationship with the
president was strong and then john kelly came out last week and said rumors of my demise are premature. now the president comes out to say his relationship with mitch mcconnell is very strong as you and chris stirewalt have been talking about. he went on for the better part of 50 minutes. >> dana: i have seven minutes. >> reporter: it was extraordinary. i asked him three or four question. he kept come back eking back to us. i have been in a lot of press conferences with presidents and i have never seen anything like this. which is why i keep on telling our editorial people when they say what do you want to do for 6:00. i say why don't you wait a little while because anything could happen. >> dana: what did you take away out of that? >> reporter: the fact that there will be an atphoupbment on a national emergency on drug control policy and opioids. i think that was a big piece of news. it was also a big piece of news when mitch mcconnell came forward after i asked the president if he was okay with tax reform coming next year instead of this year? the senate majority leader said
we want to get it done by the end of this year. don't forget he has said in the past that he wants to get it done this congress. i think those were a couple pieces of big news. >> dana: they did set the expectations that president obama didn't sign those big pieces until the early winter of the following year. so john roberts, thank you very much for being there today. >> reporter: thanks, dana. >> dana: republican tax plan facing questions from democrats. both president trump and senator mcconnell said it is good for america and it will pass. >> i would like very much to see it be done this year. we won't go a step further. don't forget, it took years for reagan administration to get taxes done. i have been here for nine months. >> we're gonna get this job done. the goal is to get it done by the end of the year. >> dana: my next guest is willing to bet $60,000 that tax reform will jump start the economy. skwrourpb lindsey former assistant to george w. bush for
domestic and economic policy. thank you for being here on this very auspicious moment to have you. that was the lead. president trump coming out with mitch mcconnell saying look, he and i are on the same page. how important do you think it is for the president to get tax reform not just politically. i'm cure your your thoughts about economic growth? >> i think it's important. we just had the weakest economic recovery in american history. growth has been 2%. that's more than a percentage point below the historic average. we had a collapse in productivity. almost 70% we had a 40% decline capital formation. this is not the way you grow an economy. it's not the way you raise wages. the way to fix it is a tax bill that encourages entrepreneurship, encourages investment. that appears to be what the congress and president are moving toward. >> dana: at the same time, larry, the president was
tweeting and he praoeted in his press conference that the economy is doing so well under his presidency. regulations are down, unemployment way down. i think 4.3%. stock market is on a tear. so how hard is it to convince the american public that you need tax reform if the economy, in his mind, is actually good? we're actually i think, if we don't pass tax reform, at or near a peak. when you get to full roeuplt and the fed begins to tighten, which they told us they're going to do, usually there's not a lot of time left for economic growth. the only way you can get that time is to give the economy more run room. you need something like the tax bill in order for the economy to expand for two or three more years. dana, there's a great rule of thumb. you know about dog years and people years. there's also expansion years. basically, one month of economic expansion is like one human year. we're already in our 90s. so unless you do something
that's going to extend human life or economic life, you're in trouble. >> dana: should the white house shy away from that? >> you know, they seud they're not going to change the distribution of taxes in the country. in fact, my bet would be that actually taxes, the share of taxes paid by the rich are going to go up slightly under this bill. most of the beneficiaries are going to be families making $50,000 to $100,000 with children. that's where i think their focus is going to be. in the end i don't think they're actually going to cut the top income tax rate. so, no, i don't think that's an appropriate criticism. i think they're going to end up with the rich paying at least as much tax szs as they're paying now. >> dana: they would be able to say the middle class is getting the bulk of the tax cuts. what do you think of the republican messaging so far, focusing on they're having to respond to democrats who are saying this is all just for the
wealthy. your cohorts, i wouldn't say colleagues, but people in your world, for example, larry summers, have said that this tax reform is all based on phoney economics and you have pawed crudman saying it is based on lies. have they taken you up on that? >> no. paul, larry, are political spokesmen. that's what they're doing. i think there's enough name calling. enough use of those kinds of words. i think this is a good challenge. let's put our money down. so far they have declined. i think i know why. i think they know they're going to lose the bet. >> dana: are you comfortable with 20% on the corporate tax cut? do you think it could go higher and still be effective? >> i think it will be very close to 20%. the president has been firm about that number. remember, the goal here is international competitiveness. the average world tax rate now
among developed countries is 23%. we're at 35%. that's why companies are locating their plants overseas. it's why they do something called transfer pricing which is overinvoicing in order to move profits overseas. if we go to 23% or lower, that stops. if we go under 23, we're more competitive. >> dana: let me ask you one last question. are you concerned at all about the president's trade agenda and for example reports today that on nafta that negotiations aren't going very well? >> i do think we have to renegotiate -- we've got to remember, the nafta bill and china were negotiated back in the 90s. purposes were mainly foreign policy. in the case of china, it was to make china rich so they were peaceful. in the case of nafta, it was to make mexico rich so we didn't have as much immigration. both have worked. china's doing very well.
mexico's doing very well. most of our immigration across our southern border isn't from mexico. it's from south of mexico. under the obama administration, the mexicans approached obama to say, can you help us build a wall on our southern border. >> dana: on their southern border. >> so i mean, there's the irony there. >> dana: first thing first. he said he wants the wall and he's going to ask congress to appropriate the money tpoeurt. >> i think that will happen. the deal in the '90s worked. now that those countries are both rich, it's the same kind of deal appropriate? i think that there's certainly room for modification in our favor. >> dana: benefit for us to have your thinking today on tax reform. thank you very much, larry. >> you're very welcome. thanks for having me. >> dana: president trump was also asked about the on going russia investigation. here his response. >> the whole russia thing was an excuse for the democrats losing the election. turns out to be just one excuse.
today hillary blamed nigel ferag. that one came out of nowhere. that was an excuse for the democrats losing an election. they have a big advantage in thes electoral college. they should always be able to win in the electoral college. they were unable to do it. >> dana: joining me now marjorie cliffton. vince is host of mornings on the mall. thanks for you being here. very exciting for the daily briefing to include a presidential press conference. vince, what did you take away as the most important? >> the relationship between mitch mcconnell and donald trump is one everyone was waiting to see. i think the message we're getting is president trump for the moment is willing to invest his confidence in mitch mcconnell so long as he can complete the task that the president laid out today. those include getting something done on health care reform, certainly on obamacare repeal and replace. definitely in the near term getting tax reform done.
this is a pivotal week for the senate. they need to get to that 50 vote fresh hold. there are a lot of moving pieces going on around washington as we speak right now as senators are sort of being pulled in the direction of voting for tax reform. right now president trump is giving his vote of confidence to mitch mcconnell. >> dana: there was a lot to chew on after lunch. this is another example of how the president, any president, can help set the agenda in washington. he came out today. i took seven pages of notes. it was probably 25 questions from the press. seemed like he was having a great time. he's resetting the agenda, hitting tax reform, the nfl, north korea, immigration. sit a reminder to the democrats that they've got an uphill battle if they want to try to have an impact? >> well, i think alignment will be key within the republican party. again, why mitch mcconnell was such an important image. there has been a lot of
criticism going back and forth. we know trump is very comfortable with going after someone on twitter and then loving them the next day, so we'll see if that can sustain. you're right, a lot of really important issues. the opioid crisis, i think, also one of those he has taken the lead. so how he responds to this potential issue with marino as his drug czar is going to be critical. we have 91 americans dying every day of opioid overdose. it's increasing. so it's not getting better. how we tackle that will be really important. tax reform. this is his second chance at health care that didn't go. can he get the party to align? nobody wins for having the republican party be completely, you know, frankly divide on all these issues. if we're going to have any bipartisan work we've got to get the party aligned. >> dana: i just want to say the democrats also have a lot of risk. the republicans are on front and center display. what do you think about the democrats? >> you saw dick durbin say they
need to be careful. they can't be too liberal. you've seen the financing arms of the house and the senate both -- >> dana: vince, i apologize. army sergeant bowe bergdahl we'll excuse next. better than prestige creams costing over $100, $200, and even $400. for skin that looks younger than it should. fact check this ad in good housekeeping. olay regenerist. ageless. but he hasoke up wwork to do.in. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong.
>> army sergeant bowe bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and leaving his comrades. sir, this is a story that is long and coming. we remember how president obama had a rose garden ceremony with bergdahl's parents and subsequently he was a hero and today he pleads guilty. how significant is this? >> it is pretty significant. this doesn't happen that often obviously in our military history. and i think right from the beginning, this story was never right. military bears some responsibility here, frankly.
the preliminary investigation on bergdahl done by the chain of command from the unit he came from had the facts and the facts never changed. that was he deserted his post and went out in an area where the taliban was known to band he was taken by the taliban. that put that base at risk. we knew he would be spweur gaited. we knew he would likely be tortured. also put those at risk who were chasing after him. the chairman of the joint chiefs at the time, as well as central command who oversees this area downplayed the significance of what had taken place. much to the frustration of all of those soldiers at that military base because they knew full well that he had deserted his post. then that led, i think, to this gaff that you're talking about, dana. where the president is out there at a public relations event honoring his family implicitly honoring his service and susan rice is on television talking about his honorable service which it clearly was not.
>> dana: michael walsh former green beret commander had this to say earlier. let's listen in. >> this is justice eight years in the making since he walked off his base in 2009. this is justice for not only the soldiers, the men and women who were directly involved in the search for him, but all of the ones all across saf began stan who were starved of assets that they normally would have had. he doesn't even deserve the honor of being called a pow, in my mind. he needs to be called a deserter. >> dana: michael, because he was there and he was leading men in that fight, have very strong feelings because lives were lost. people were injured in the search for him. >> everybody's got strong feelings about this. i mean, because up and down the entire chain of command is enormous frustration about what took place. listen, we were gonna go after him anyway regardless of the fact that he deserted his post. we're not just gonna abandon an american soldier.
so i think that has to be also understood. we're going to run this thing down if we can. >> dana: i remember president obama saying that in particular. this is something we would have to do. you're right. when they called him a hero, that changed everything. >> then the deal we made. remember the awful deal. >> dana: actually, i checked into that. where are those five terrorists? >> we don't know for a fact but you can surmise most of them are back in some kind of leadership role, or at least iconic figures being chaperoned around. they were all leaders the equivalent of generals, officers. >> dana: do you think it's complicated other efforts to get hostages back stphr >> oh yeah. absolutely. there's no doubt about it. this was a serious gaff on the part of the united states government dealing bergdahl. it is finally being addressed properly. i think the judge will do what's right here on behalf of the american soldiers, on behalf of the american people today. >> dana: general jack keane, thank you.
>> dana: firefighters in california say they're finally making progress. dramatic video capturing the sheer destruction from these fires. right now rescue crews are desperately sifting through ruins to find more remains. at least 40 people have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed. claude claudia cohan joins from california. what's going on? >> reporter: good afternoon. this housing track remains evacuated but there is a lot going on here. you can see the trucks behind me, the blue pg&e trucks. these are utility workers checking for gas leaks, making sure this area is safe so that
by tomorrow or wednesday, people will be allowed back into this neighborhood to see what, if anything, is left of their property. you can probably tell here that the air is still pretty smoky because, as we look at some live pictures, i can tell you there is active fire burning about two miles from where we are. this is coming from the oakmont fire. it is just 15% contained with more than a dozen active fires, it's sometimes hard to keep them straight. santa rosa was hit hard by the tubbs fire. today the tubbs fire has been brought to heel. resources are shifting to other hot spots. the big atlas fire is 68% contained. the nuns fire burned 48,000 acre. more numbers. just almost mind boggling. 11,000 firefighters are battling
14 major wild fires that together have torched more than 200,000 acre. evacuations are being lifted. 40,000 people are out of their homes. that's down from 100,000 people. crews say cooler temperatures and calmer winds are helping them turn the corner as this fire fight heads into a second week. more tragic week. the operator of a water tanker was killed when the vehicle flipped over early this morning. he was a contractor providing support for crews working on the nuns fire. it issen clear why the vehicle rolled over, but it is possible fatigue played a role. these crews have been working around the clock for many days. in fact, this is day eight. now, along with 40 deaths because of the fire itself, we have our first fatality but an of the fire fighting effort. dana? >> dana: claudia cowan, thank you very much. after the break, i'll tell you about a special guest on tomorrow's show. he knows exactly how much tragedy wild fires can bring. in control.
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>> shepard: it's noon on the west coast. 3:00 at the white house. president trump met with the senate republican leader, mitch mcconnell. after blasting him for failing on healthcare, the president showing some love. >> we're probably now i think as as far as i'm concerned closer than ever before. the relationship is very good. we're fighting for the same thing. >> shepard: can the two men work together on their agenda? including tax cuts. high stakes there as senator lindsey graham says the republicans fail, we're dead. a big day in the bribery trial of a sitting democratic senator as the judge declines to throw out part of the